I haven't done much "real" gaming lately, but the games with my five year-olds have become weekly things. In the process of playing these games, we've developed our own warhammer-ish system. Basically, the kids go up and pick a warband of five models that they think are cool (usually either Necrons, Space Marines, or Tomb Kings). Then, I grab ten to fifteen models of a third force. The kids have a deployment zone at either end of the table, and I take the middle. We then create three objectives, all of which are in my zone.
Once play begins, the kids are competing to see who can get the most objectives from me. Every model moves seven inches. Our battles are adjudicated using a system that states that basic troops get to roll 1 dice, monsters get to roll 2 dice, and heroes get to roll 3 dice to attack. Then, it takes a roll of "4" to hit and the same to wound. Everyone wounded gets a five up armor save. However, no one dies. Instead, the model is laid on its back. Players get to roll a dice each round for each casualty. On a "6," the model wakes up (but cannot act that round).
As we play, some models are picking up special rules. For example, the chaplain with the jet pack gets to move twenty inches, and the Necron tomb spyder is so strong that he only needs to roll a 2 to wound.
The kids are enjoying the game (and so am I). This last week, they made up the objectives themselves, and they have a good time narrating the story of what is happening. They have even claimed a few older models for themselves so that they can paint up their own force. I'll probably regret this in a few years when they start asking for miniatures for Christmas, but for now, it sure beats another round of "Go Fish." I think the discussion of when kids are ready for games and gaming is a good one. Mine are five. I'm sure every child is different, but this age seems like a really great time to start in some small way.
As far as painting goes, I finished my first dragon. This is my new dragon mage (well the rider is new, I already had the dragon). I got the inspiration from The Warhammer Forum. I'd link to the post, but I can't find it anymore. Basically, I kitbashed a flaming sword on the mage model, drilled a hole in the staff, straightened a paper clip out, and green-stuffed some flames over it. It's not perfect, but I'm pleased with the results:
What do you think? This was a warm-up for the fire-breathing star dragon conversion that I'm planning on building, so if you have any advice, it's very welcome. I have a few archers to paint up this week, and then I'll start the dragon.